European power grids keep lights on through solar eclipse

European power grids keep lights on through solar eclipse

Electrical grids in Europe succeeded in managing the unprecedented disruption to solar power from Friday's 2-1/2-hour eclipse that brought sudden, massive drops in supply.

Germany, Europe's leading economy and boasting the world's biggest solar-powered installations, was at the heart of the event.

Of 89 gigawatt (GW) of installed European solar capacity, it has 38.2 GW, which in theory is enough to meet half of its maximum demand.

The initial 15 GW drop in Germany was less than operators had feared. They were able to draw on alternative power sources including coal, gas, biogas, nuclear and hydroelectric energy pumped from storage and were helped by demand reductions from industry including four aluminum plants.

"Good preparations paid off, we were able to handle all swings in production," said Ulrike Hoerchens, spokeswoman for one of the four high-voltage grid firms, TenneT, which operates in the region with the highest share of photovoltaic units.

Source: Reuters

SMART GRID Bulletin November 2017


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